Difficulties with attention and focus come in two varieties: the dreamy, inattentive type, and the high energy impulsive type. These styles or temperaments are usually clear to see from early in life, especially once a child enters school. Typical teacher reports on such children include statements such as:
"Bright, but doesn't apply themselves", or "Could do much better if they only focused". Sometimes teachers will even call these children lazy.
Research indicates that attention difficulties persist into adulthood. Typical adult manifestations of attentional difficulties include underachievement, frequent job changes, and difficulty coping.
There may be several secondary consequences as a result of attentional difficulties. These include anxiety, and oppositional behaviour. In adulthood the anxiety often persists and can lead to depression. Intellectually bright people will often be unaware that they have difficulties focusing but will develop anxiety. As adults they eventually become exhausted, and then seek medical help. The more active and impulsive people will find that they continue to overreact and make poor decisions. They may also find that their brain wont slow down at night, which interferes with their sleep.
Attention difficulties often co-occur with other disorders, including obsessive and compulsive difficulties, autistic spectrum disorders, and oppositional and antisocial behaviour.
Neurofeedback can help with all of these conditions. With the more complex disorders it is certainly not a stand alone intervention, but will help with other more traditional interventions.